SMITHFIELD, NC (CNN) – A high school in North Carolina now has its own indoor shooting range thanks to help from the gun industry’s largest trade group.
For the last 5 months, ROTC students hand-built the 1,200-square foot, 6-lane indoor air rifle marksmanship shooting range.
At a cost of just over $10,000, the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the gun industry’s largest trade group, were happy to donate most of the supplies.
Instead of bullets, the Daisy pump air rifles shoot pellets, but school administrators say they can still be dangerous.
Before hitting the range, students are trained.
“There is a marksmanship safety test they have to take, and they have to get a 100 on it,” said Commander David Wegman of the Smithfield-Selma High School, “In addition to that, they have to sign a safety pledge, get permission from home, and finally demonstrate on the range that they know how to handle one of these air rifles safely.”
When all of that is accomplished, students can shoot.
Right now, only four ROTC students are certified and they say they’re still very conscious of safety concerns.
“You go out there and you’re relying on others,” said student Timothy Jones, “You have to have the trust in others that they are handling a weapon and they are not going to harm you and you’re not going to harm them.”
And despite national conversation surrounding gun violence and school shootings, Commander David Wegman says the community shouldn’t be concerned.
“The procedures that we have in place ensure that we do the same thing, the same way, every single time,” Wegman says.
Commander Wegman says he hopes to open the range to all of his seniors by fall.